Glendale Pregnancy Discrimination Attorney
Pregnancy is a significant life event for women, but it can lead to mistreatment from employers. Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace includes refusing to hire a pregnant person or mistreating someone based on pregnancy-related disabilities. Mistreatment of pregnant employees violates federal and state laws and can result in severe fines and penalties.
If you believe that your rights as a pregnant employee have been violated, an employment lawyer at Berberian Ain LLP can advise you on your case and help you initiate legal proceedings if necessary.
Examples of Pregnancy Discrimination
Pregnant women are subject to several forms of discrimination. Unlawful examples of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace include:
- Refusal to employ pregnant women or women who may become pregnant in the future
- Termination or demotion of a woman because of medical conditions she suffered during pregnancy
- Denial of fair accommodations for a pregnant woman’s disability
- Disapproval of a woman with the right to take maternity leave for the birth of her child or related medical conditions
- Discrimination toward breastfeeding, pumping, or women with breastfeeding-related conditions
Pregnancy discrimination can also include employer retaliation for requested time off, such as reducing scheduled hours, transfer to a lower position or outright termination.
What Qualifies as a Pregnancy-Related Disability?
Pregnancy is not a disability, but pregnancy-related disabilities are protected under federal and state laws. Disabilities related to pregnancy can stem from any of these causes:
- Severe morning illness
- Medically-ordered bed rest
- Gestational diabetes
- Hypertension as a result of pregnancy
- Postpartum depression
- Pregnancy loss and recovery from pregnancy loss
These pregnancy discrimination examples and pregnancy-related disabilities underscore the need to hire an experienced lawyer to claim damages and protect your rights. Working with a lawyer who has experience in wrongful termination cases due to pregnancy can help protect your rights to reasonable employment.
Federal and State Laws Protecting Against Pregnancy Discrimination
California has been at the forefront of maternity laws since the federal ruling of California Federal Savings and Loan Association v. Guerra. This case gave pregnant employees four months of unpaid maternity leave and the right to return to their jobs after delivery.
The ruling also paved the way for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in 1993. FMLA gives job protection to employees in the form of unpaid leave when they have qualified family or medical reasons.
Pregnant employees are protected against discrimination based on these state and federal laws.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 prevents discrimination against pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) prevents pregnancy discrimination against pregnant women or those who have just given birth.
These acts apply to businesses with 15 or more employees and specify that employers must offer pregnant employees equal treatment, including hiring opportunities and benefits.
Fair Employment and Housing Act
The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) protects pregnant employees from pregnancy-related discrimination. FEHA also prevents employers from harassing employees who became pregnant, welcomed a child, or for their leave of absence. This statute affects employers, supervisors, and other employees.
According to FEHA, employers must offer reasonable accommodations to employees with pregnancy-related disabilities. These accommodations may include a leave of absence exceeding the regulatory requirements.
Americans With Disabilities Act
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 and offers Americans with disabilities protections against discrimination. This federal act prevents discrimination against people with disabilities regarding employment. It also ensures that they have equal ability to participate in federal and state programs.
The ADA is especially relevant to pregnant women with health conditions such as gestational diabetes or mental health diagnosis such as postpartum depression. It also makes retaliation against a person who asserts their ADA-protected rights illegal.
The Pregnancy Disability Leave Law
California’s Pregnancy Disability Leave Law requires employers to offer the following protections to workers with pregnancy or childbirth-related disabilities:
- Employers can offer employees pregnancy disability leave with unpaid health insurance for up to four months. Employees may also use their accrued vacation/paid time off.
- Reasonable accommodations such as reassignment to another position.
California Family Rights Act
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) offers 12 weeks of job-protected leave with ongoing health coverage for employees to foster bonding with a new baby within the first year. Eligible employees must have worked at a business with 5 or more employees for at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months.
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees to take maternity leave for a pregnancy-related disability or bond with a new baby. According to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), if multiple federal and state laws apply to an employee, the employee usually receives the benefits of the most protective laws.
If you are wrongfully terminated due to pregnancy, treated unfairly because of your pregnancy, or are denied a leave of absence due to pregnancy-related issues, your employer has likely violated pregnancy discrimination laws. Consider filing a claim with the help of a pregnancy discrimination lawyer to hold your employer accountable and seek compensation.
Filing a Pregnancy Discrimination Claim
A pregnant employee or job applicant must show the following elements to prove an employer engaged in unlawful pregnancy discrimination:
The employer must be considered an entity under California law: Employers with five or more employees can be held liable for pregnancy discrimination.
A negative cause of action took place: The employer must have taken discriminatory action against the pregnant employee. Discriminatory actions include wrongful termination or refusal of employment. The victim must show that their pregnancy-related impairment or current pregnancy was the reason for the action.
A California pregnancy discrimination attorney can work with you on your pregnancy claim. Attorneys can review witness testimonies and written communications, such as text messages and emails to determine the basis for your claim. They can help you decide the best legal action to take for your case.
Where to File Claims for Pregnancy Discrimination Cases
If you experience pregnancy discrimination, file a formal complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) under California law within one year of the discriminatory act. The department will investigate your claim before it goes to court.
The DFEH requires all parties in the complaint to take part in dispute resolution to settle the case. If they determine your employer violated California law by discriminating against pregnant women, they can issue a right to sue letter.
If you decide to seek compensation under federal law, you must file a complaint with the DFEH or the EEOC within 300 days after the allegation of discrimination. After you receive a notice of your right to sue, you have 90 days to file a lawsuit.
A pregnancy discrimination attorney can help you obtain a letter of right to sue without an investigation from the DFEH. This can streamline the legal process and allow you to file a lawsuit in court without waiting on the DFEH inquiry.
A Glendale Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyer Can Help You
Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination based on pregnancy. Unfortunately, pregnancy discrimination still occurs in the workplace. If you believe you have a pregnancy discrimination claim because you were not hired due to pregnancy, denied leave, or your condition affected your employment, contact the experienced employment law attorneys at Berberian Ain LLP.
We can protect your interests and help you file a lawsuit against your former or current employer and seek restitution for your mistreatment. Call our law firm today to schedule a confidential, free consultation.